Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Crashing on boot can be a symptom of many different problems. We'll work through some troubleshooting steps that might help.
I'm running Windows XP Pro and I really don't have many problems with it, but I'm having a problem with it crashing during or after boot up. When I go to manage and do a check about what's going on, I see red errors and warnings all over the place. I've tried Googling the problem, but I can't get anywhere with that and that's the reason why I'm writing you. I'm next to pulling my hair out dealing with this issue. Would you please give me your take on the right direction on dealing with this aggravating issue? I've done a full scan with Malwarebytes and it did come up with two Trojans that it deleted. Otherwise, the computer is as clean as I can get it.
In this excerpt from Answercast #39, I go through a list of steps to clean a machine up and see if that will stop if from crashing on boot.
So unfortunately, I don't really know where you're seeing these red errors and warnings. If it's in the Event Viewer, close the Event Viewer and stop looking at it!
The Event Viewer is full of red errors and warnings on a good day. It's hard to say what's going on. It's not a helpful utility for the layperson to help diagnose what may be going on – especially in scenarios like you're describing here.
So the problem, as I understand it, is it is simply crashing sometimes.
Well, there's really not much specific I can say about fixing that particular problem, other than to point you at the article I have, "Why does my computer crash at random times?"
It could be heat;
It could be software;
It could be hardware issues;
It could be so many different things.
My gut tells me that the right solution here is for you to take the machine to a technician and have them diagnose it hands-on.
Now, I realize that's not an option for everybody. So in the case where you can't go, here's what I would do next.
In fact, start backing up regularly if you're not backing up already. It's very possible (I'm not saying it is, but it's very possible) that these are the warning signs of an imminent, catastrophic failure.
So with your machine backed up, I'm really tempted to say you should:
That will remove a lot of cruft from the machine; it will reset a bunch of important things back to a default or natural state shortly after Windows was installed.
I don't know if you've ever actually done a reinstall of Windows on this machine. If you want to go that far, it may actually be advisable to:
Over time, many things accumulate. There's a common term for it called, "software rot." Over time, as the system is upgraded, as programs are installed and uninstalled, and updates are installed, and older updates get replaced, things just sort-of get a little unstable. Sometimes, that can manifest in the kinds of things that you're seeing here.
Another option is to make sure that your drivers are all up to date – specifically, the drivers that might be important during boot up:
Hard disk drivers;
Sound and audio drivers;
Video drivers and so forth.
Those are the kinds of things that I would look at there.
I've seen this kind of thing be a disk related issue – where there's simply a bad spot on the hard disk. A spot that is sometimes read properly and sometimes is not.
So one thing to do is to run ChkDsk on your hard drive, if you're so inclined.
I happen to have a copy of SpinRite for when I encounter these kinds of problems, I'd run SpinRite on the hard drive to see if there's something flaky going on on the hard drive. I have definitely heard stories of that simply resolving these kinds of issues.
And like I said, a complete reinstall is not out of the question, particularly if the machine has never had that happen to it since the day it was born. But ultimately, there are just so many different things that could be going on here.
The best advice I could give you is to take it to a technician; get someone who can actually get their hands on the machine and diagnose the machine, specifically as it's coming up, to see if there are any additional clues that might help understand exactly what's going on here.
End of Answercast #39 Back to – Audio Segment
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